Not nearly as rich and over the top as I would have thought and coming around to more genuine Gigondas flavors. Still a big wine, as one would expect from a 1998, still there's some resemblance to port, but this is quite drinkable on a dark, winter evening in Denmark.
An evening with Ib B (Frederiksberg): Oh dear – still an undertone of prunes here from the get go – and loads of alcohol. Seriously considering not serving this tonight and showing something else instead … But, lo and behold, after a couple of hours, it was a success and preferred to the Saint Cosme Valbelle by most people - on the second day this actually charming, if not exactly elegant, balance is improving, certainly. Concentrated, rich, years to go … Have we underestimated M. Yves Gras?
Finally, finally, this is coming around - how long we have waited. Albeit still warm with notes of liquor, this grenache from a warm year and a warm place, but while earlier in it's seeming overdone and off-putting, this a delicious drink right now - in the danish wintertime. Loads of sweetness in the fruit, hints of alcohol, certainly, the warmth of the sun is here, and while I still prefer the basic cuvée from this producer, I am happy to drink this at this stage. Will keep another 5 years, at least, no hurry, and if you put in a chateauneuf-tasting, this will ´be a dead-ringer for the real thing.
I'm probably being too generous with a rating of 83. This cellared 1998 was not corked and two of us who are huge fans of DSD Gigondas were excited to try it. Sadly, it had developed a strong metallic edge and was like Swiss cheese on the palate, i.e. it had some decent flavors coming up for air (simple fruits) but overall it was toast. If you have any and your bottles are drinking decently, drink up...yesterday...lest they go the way of this bottle. This baby is gone. Thankfully I can drink more of the 2010 to remind me just how good the Prestige bottle is.
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(Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues) A wine with a fairly rich colour, showing some maturity with an orange-tinged rim. The nose certainly has interest, although with a rather distinctive array of aromas. We have cough candy sticks, Bovril, treacle toffee and most of all sweet, baked, sticky fruit. There is a vegetal character as well, one which, curiously, is more reminiscent of Pedro Ximénez than of Grenache. On the palate the same flavours follow through. This is a rich and rounded wine, but with no point of focus. It has a core of peppery tannins that seem to pervade inwards from the edges, but what acidity there is is completely subsumed by the baked fruit and tannin. It seems rather coarse and carries a rather obvious alcohol which influences the texture greatly; and the label admits to 15%. The finish yields pepper and spice, and little else. Overall, I find this disappointing. I am glad that this is my only bottle.
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